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6 May 2015
G'day there! Yes, keithquinnrugby.com has been quiet for a few weeks. That's because I am currently out of New Zealand on a private holiday. Yes a holiday! I hope you have noticed my absence! But now here on this website and in the days and weeks to come I'll bring you photographs of some of the incredible sights my wife Anne and I have seen these last few weeks. We are visiting six countries in Europe and North America. The picture you see here is from a wonderful art work which is now available for Scottish people and overseas tourists to enjoy.
OK, some of my pictures might not be about rugby but just as when your old favourite Uncle and Auntie want to show you their best holiday 'snaps' sit back and enjoy ours!
These giant horsey figures are 'The Kelpies' which are two sculptures paying tribute to the heavy horses which pulled boats and cargo along two main canals in the north of Scotland, near the town of Falkirk. The name derives from the mythical Celtic water horses which could transform their shape and were reputed to have the strength of 10 horses and massive endurance.
The two sculptures are 30 metres tall (that's 295 'hands' if you're a horsey person!) and were put onto the site in just 90 days in April 2014, just before the Commonwealth Games in Scotland were held.
Each sculpture weighs 300 tonnes and each is comprised of more than 13,000 individual pieces of sculptural steel. They are the work of the brilliant Glasgow-based artist Andy Scott.
In their first year of existence a million people visited them and gasped in admiration! I can tell you I did the same.
[see more pictures from my world trip by going back to the Home Page here and clicking on either 'Quinn's News Comment' or 'Favourite Photos']
NZ had to go to Brisbane for this Sunday game; the ABs scored 8 tries to 1! Winning the first World Cup was now only a week away!
This was a game which was begun in New Zealand in 1897 and which became an annual one (with the exception of 1930 and the war years) until 1986, between teams representing the two main islands of New Zealand.
The inter-island series, North Island against South Island, was, through the 1920s right up to the early 1970s, consistently up to international standard. In its heyday, the game was eagerly looked forward to by everyone in New Zealand as it featured a match that often had the look of New Zealand ‘A’ against New Zealand ‘B’ (the ‘A’ team being the side which won!). Sometimes the game did officially double as an All Black trial.
In the 1970s lack of promotion of the game led to loss of interest. The New Zealand Rugby Union, after years of playing the inter-island game at major grounds, started moving it to lesser towns. Public support fell away and towards the end the game was marked by the number of top players who declared their unavailability rather than by those who did turn out. It was sad for New Zealand traditionalists when the match was abolished in 1987 and replaced by a three-way regional trial series featuring teams from three new zones, Northern, Central and Southern.
The last annual game in 1986 was typical of the decline of the North v South game. Played in the smasll town of Oamaru in the South Island, the game had a local college match as its curtain-raiser. When the college game finished, most of the crowds of local schoolchildren drifted away home, leaving the inter-island match to go ahead in front of a much smaller audience. The North Island won the game 22–10, ending the annual series with 49 wins. South had won 26 times and there were three drawn games.
The North-South game did return for special one-off games in 1995 and 2012. The former was an All Black trial and the latter was a fundraising game for the financially troubled Otago Rugby Union.
Ironically the inter-zone series which had followed the cancelled North-South series in 1986 had only three seasons of play before it, too, folded through lack of interest.
On the Teen Rugby Show on TV in New Zealand (on 18 July 2006) which All Black used the words; 'bugger, shit, shits and shithouse' in a five minute item.